By: Randy Larson
Prime Time League Commissioner
The four teams in this year's Prime Time league conducted 2 fierce battles Sunday afternoon to see who gets a chance at bragging rights by winning the league championship Tuesday night at 9. The regular-season champs at 5-1, the Vinton Merchants/Gatens Real Estate team, was beaten by previously winless Culver's/Iowa City Ready Mix, 100-93. And in the second game of the day, the 2 and 3 seeds, Jill Armstrong and LL Pelling/McCurry's, finished with almost the identical score, won by Armstrong 99-93.
The triumphant 4 seed was led by their 4 Iowa players with great assistance by William Penn's Keith Steffeck. Here are their lines:
Eric May: 9-13 on 2's, 1-5 on 3's, 3-3 ft's, 22 pts, 7 rebounds, 1 asst.
Aaron White: 3-7 on 2's, 2-8 on 3's, 10-12 ft's, 22 pts, 8 rebs, 2 asts.
Anthony Clemmons: 4-7 on 2's, 1-6 on 3's, 3-3 ft's, 14 pts, 5 rbs, 2 asts.
Kyle Meyer: 3-6 on 2's, 1-1 on 3's, 2-2 ft's, 11 pts, 3 rbs, 1 ast.
Keith Steffeck: 4-5 on 2's, 4-5 on 3's, 20 pts, 5 rbs, 4 assts.
Eric May played his best game of the summer when it counted and the Culver's team made the size mismatches work for them more than Vinton could. Obviously they had great balance, and shot well, shooting 26-47 on 2's, 10-28 on 3's, 18-20 on ft's, and only getting out-rebounded by the much bigger Vinton team, 40-38. Dallas Hodges led them with 5 assists.
Vinton was led by Iowa incoming freshman Adam Woodbury who had 20 points. They also displayed great balance with Jarrod Uthoff scoring 18, Zach McCabe 17, Josh Oglesby had 14, and former Kirkwood and Iowa City West center Okay Ukah showing his moves inside by scoring 12.
Here are those 5's box scores:
Adam Woodbury: 10-14 on 2's, 0-2 ft's, 20 pts, 5 rbs, 1 ast.
Jarrod Uthoff: 6-13 on 2's, 1-3 on 3's, 3-3 ft's, 18 pts, 13 rbs, 6 asts.
Zach McCabe: 3-7 on 2's, 2-4 on 3's, 5-6 ft's, 17 pts, 9 rbs, 2 ssts.
Josh Oglesby: 1-2 on 2's, 4-10 on 3's, 14 pts, 3 rbs.
Okey Ukah: 6-7 on 2's, 12 pts, 1 rb.
Vinton continued its' season-long unselfish play which resulted in good shooting, 29-54 on 2's, 9-24 on 3's, and 8-11 on ft's, but couldn't stop Culver's from scoring and hurting them on the offensive boards. They tried a zone in the middle of the 2nd half and got the lead with it but after leading with 3 minutes to go, couldn't stop Culver's in the man-to-man they finished with. Head coach Randy Larson said "I loved how Adam developed offensively, shooting 10-14 tonight, and Zach was always good all summer. Jarrod showed how incredibly versatile and talented he is and I think he's going to be a very good Big Ten player. Josh is as good a shooter as there is in the Big Ten and I look for him to be right in the mix for a starting spot. We just never developed enough cohesiveness on defense and didn't talk enough, and tonight when the other team shot better than usual, that beat us."
In the 2-3 seeds game, Jill Armstrong rode its' 3 big horses, Jarryd Cole, Melsahn Basabe and Mike Gesell to victory. Their opponent, LL Pelling/McCurry's, was missing its' 2nd-best player, Ali Farokhmanesh but despite that, held the lead much of the game, before succumbing. Cole and Basabe both had 34 points and combined for 31 boards. The game was a series of big man match ups, as Cole and Basabe faced rapidly-developing Iowa center Gabe Olaseni and Prime Time veteran defensive star Brennan Swayzer.
Although Olaseni scored 31, in the end it was too much talent in the frontline for Jill Armstrong's team, with Gesell making sure the ball got to them, finishing with 12 assists. They also held LL Pelling's star Devyn Marble in check, as he scored 14 but was 6-17 from the field and 2-6 from the line.
Box Scores of selected players:
Melsahn Basabe: 13-23 on 2's, 0-3 on 3's, 8-10 ft's, 34 pts, 19 rbs, 3 asts.
Jarryd Cole: 15-23 on 2's, 0-2 on 3's, 4-4 ft's, 34 pts, 12 rbs, 3 asts.
Mike Gesell: 3-11 on 2's, 2-4 on 3's, 2-2 ft's, 14 pts, 6 rbs, 12 asts.
Darius Stokes: 0-3 on 2's, 1-3 ft's, 1 pt, 2 rbs, 1 ast.
Upper Iowa's starting guard Joey Woods did a good job defensively on Gesell but without a couple of missing players, starting power forward Tucker Wentzien and sharpshooter Farokhmanesh, their teamwork kept them in the game, but didn't let them prevail. Former Winona State Hall-of-Famer Kyle Schlaak scored 20.
Selected box scores:
Gabe Olaseni: 14-22 on 2's, 3-6 ft's, 31 pts, 6 rbs, 2 asts.
Kyle Schlaak: 8-11 on 2's, 1-1 on 3's, 1-1 ft's, 20 pts, 9 rbs, 1 ast.
Devyn Marble: 6-13 on 2's, 0-4 on 3's, 2-6 on ft's, 14 pts, 5 rbs, 8 asts.
Joey Woods: 5-10 on 2's, 1-2 ft's, 11 pts, 5 rbs, 6 asts.
The winning teams meet for a late-night championship game, televised on MC-22 on Mediacom at 9 pm Tuesday, July 24. The game is scheduled for 9 to allow Iowa players who have a night class on Tuesday to play without a class conflict.
The Game Time league semifinals are tonight, July 23rd, at 6 and 7:30, and are also televised on MC-22, as is the championship Wednesday at 6.